“This is not a day to be alone.”
That was Leopard-Trek manager Brian Nygaard explaining many things. The decision of the team to stay in the Giro, the wish of Wouter Weylandt’s family that the team continue on, the solidarity among riders to neutralize the stage in tribute to their fallen brother and the outpouring of sympathy from cycling fans all over the world.
Mostly, it was Nygaard’s way to say that grieving is best done together, as a team, sharing the painful emotions of Weylandt’s death.
One of the many things we admire and respect about cycling are its rich history and traditions. The way that the sport handles the death of one of its athletes is impressive and full of class.
The moving and heart-felt statements from Weyland’t close friend Tyler Farrar were beautiful. The immediate agreement among teams and riders to ride in procession to Livorno honors Weylandt in the best possible way. The sensitive response of Giro boss Angelo Zomegnan and the entire RSC race organization is impressive.
While cycling is mired in what seems a never-ending battle with doping, it’s in moments like these that the sport shows its true colors. We’re reminded again that it’s a beautiful sport for many reasons.
While the next quote is from a reader comment below, we think it deerves a place right here. Jennifer Knecht writes: ” The sight of Leopard Trek riding together at the front of the peloton, bringing an emotional Tyler Farrar back up in line with them after he had dropped back to allow the team to cross as one, was one of the most moving and emotional things I have ever seen. Yesterday was a day of absolute cruelty; today, watching the cyclists ride in unity, was a day of beauty.”
Everyone warned that this would be the hardest Giro d’Italia in history. We simply had no idea just how hard. This is not a day to be alone. Wouter Weylandt would be proud of his sport today.